This volume focuses on the public sculpture and monuments in the eight boroughs of outer south and west London. These stretch in a curve from the northernmost borough of Hillingdon, which borders the boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow, to Richmond that straddles the Thames, to the southern boroughs Kingston, Merton, Sutton, and Croydon. Of the 300 public monuments and sculptures detailed, over three quarters were originally commissioned by wealthy royal and aristocratic patrons to adorn their private residencies from the 16th to the 18th century. The wealth of works include architectural reliefs, statues, and garden ornaments such as fountains and urns produced by major metropolitan sculptors. Hampton Court Palace has architectural and garden sculpture by John Van Nost, Gabriel Caius Cibber, Grinling Gibbons and Edward Pierce. Cibber’s Hercules pediment was perhaps Britain’s first monumental pediment sculpture later imitated throughout the country. At Chiswick House Lord Burlington with his supreme knowledge of European sculpture employed Michael Rysbrack, Peter Scheemakers and Giovanni Battista Guelfi. The rise of new patrons in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the desire to establish strong local identities resulted in a rich diversity of monuments, obelisks, bridges, fountains and clock towers. Municipal patronage replaced private commissions exemplified by Croydon’s Town Hall, Library and Law Courts with its ambitious programme of decorative and symbolist sculpture emphasizing education, public order and other civic virtues. Education is also the theme of Hamo Thornycroft’s statue of John Colet, the founder of St Paul’s School. Early aviation at Croydon and Heathrow inspired much distinctive public sculpture and more recently prosperous commercial centres within the boroughs include the hundred-acre Stockley Business Park which has provided a wealth of contemporary work by major sculptors such as Stephen Cox, and William Pye, alongside works by Nigel Hall and David Mach commissioned by Kingston in partnership with Kingston University.
Davina Thackara is a writer, researcher and editor specialising in modern and contemporary art, with a particular interest in sculpture. art and architecture and art and science. She was for many years Lecturer in Art History at Kingston University, London.
Professor Fran Lloyd is Professor of Art History & Associate Dean Research & Enterprise, Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University.
Helen Potkin is Principal Lecturer in Art History at Kingston University, London.
Note on the catalogue
Introduction: A Sense of Place - Boundaries, Identities and Histories Fran Lloyd
Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London
With introductory essays by Helen Potkin and Davina Thackara
Appendix: List of Minor Works
This excellent new book reminder us vividly of the potential of these collaborations, as it comprehensively surveys the public sculpture in outer south and west London. The cheerful fusion of architecture and sculpture is the main theme of this work. The books are well produced, in a large accessible format and are fully illustrated and researched.
Benedict O'Looney The Victorian Magazine
220 x 250 mm
December 16, 2011
Public Sculpture of Britain 13